Sunday, November 30, 2014

Planning....

 November 30, 2014

Planning a trip like this is no small feat.  Besides all the land responsibilities, house rental preparation and provisioning; there is also the plan for on the water.

The plan to get down the US coast.
The plan for the Passage from US to the Caribbean.
The Plan while down in the Caribbean.
The Plan for the Bahama island jumping when working our way back to the US.
The Plan for coming up the US coast.
The Plan when we return to the Rhode Island area.

Geez, all these could be chapters in and of themselves!  And to say this is daunting is an understatement!  Except that we have an amazing resource in the Conway family! These are our dear friends who just 2 years ago did this trip (and then some).



With unending support, stories and good advice Chris and Erica - this Thanksgiving holiday - opened their homes and hearts to host us and gave us detailed, first hand knowledge of the islands we are going to see.

With solid information, great stories and fare warnings we left them with an excitement that renewed our spirits and created a vision of what this trip beholds.


  • Not just trying to see as many islands as we can, but to connect with the cultures, the people and nature.   
  • To follow the weather and decide how long we will stay someplace based on how we are feeling about being there. 
  • To expand our connections with people and their way of life.
  • To slow down and take care of the minute at hand. 
  • And to give our children the opportunity to immerse their sensibilities to all these possibilities. 

I am energized and calmed by these thoughts!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Track Life

November 24th, 2014

I read a post last night from another cruising family.  And She wrote a very interesting blog about what she was feeling during the year prior to departing on her journey.  She called it the 'Place in between".  Read the excerpt...from Our Life with Ceol Mor
Any mom trying to be full on Super Mom knows that no matter how good a job you do, nobody gives you high fives. I know the girls are doing well so that is thanks enough but it does contribute to making this final countdown feel a bit tough at times.The kids are doing great and are engaged, busy and happy but I have this weird 'in flux ' feeling going on. I am not really connected with everything going on in suburbia because we are leaving. Its this really bizarre feeling of being here, but at the same time NOT being here. It is existing some place in between.
Its not a place of sadness. Nor is it a place of disappointment or anxiety. Its just this really strange place to be. In all of the writings I have read, I've never seen anyone discuss how weird it is to be neither here nor there in the last year. In one on one conversation, it seems that EVERYONE has this feeling. They just never talk about it. Not certain exactly why, but there it is.
So we are rolling into 2014. 2014, the year that we will no longer be living in the in between but will be actively cruising. I am looking forward to it more than I can say. Not just because we have been actively pursuing this for over 4 years now but because it will mean that I will be living a little more in the here and now. And that is the whole point of this adventure.
It was a neat read for me, for I too am feeling a sense of this.  This quasi presence to your current life realities and the ever growing list of things to do to prepare.  Feeling distant but being present.  

I have had discussions about it with friends and family and termed it in my mind as "Living a Two Track Life".


Two sets of thoughts, two sets of realities riding the curve of life.

The track on my left is our present livable moments, the track on the right are my mental future en-devour thoughts and check lists.
At some point the track of thoughts and ideas on your right need to jump over to the left track so as to carry out the mental check lists created on the right.   (In our case it is the implementation and planning of this trip.....OR it will never happen.)

At times, especially at night when I am trying to fall asleep, my mind has a very high pre-occupation rate....and I tend to stay up later than I intend.  (Thank goodness I am a night owl.  Hoot!)  It is at this time where the mental track jumping happens.  I am able to put aside the duties of the everyday and while the house is quiet....(except for some snoring) I am able to crossover some checklist tidbits to the left side 'action tracks' (or more fun - the "Get 'er Done" tracks.)

Living a Two Track Life varies from the life I have created for myself over the last few years....where I like feeling centered.   It seems my centered-ness nowadays - I have to work on harder ....and at moments - it is a coat I am not wearing well.  (My apologies to friends who have seen this coat!)

So I keep entering thoughts purposely rather than organically at the moment - just to keep my focus on the small tasks (the left track) - Kids, Family time, work, School, groceries, connections, house work, boat checklist etc... 

I look forward to all this hard work paying off in the greatest adventure our family of four may ever have!  And that day is fast approaching........I look forward to when the two track life becomes one again.  One that is much simpler...just because we worked so hard now.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Being Mindful of your environment

November 19, 2014
Found this wonderful affirming information in my inbox today and thought I would share.  Written.....by Bhava Ram


Being mindful of what environments you choose to be in and what you expose your consciousness to is essential for emotional balance and wellness. I invite you to explore six simple steps to improve your emotional wellness today.
  • Turn Off the Tube: TV invades your consciousness and fries your mind. Click it off. Instead, read an inspiring book, listen to soft music, or choose a creative endeavor that you’ve been longing to try.
  • Turn on Nature: Get out in nature more often. Her rhythms are soothing and healing. Try to catch some sunrises and sunsets. Go to a beach, a bay, a park, or take a gentle hike in the mountains. This is how you feed your mind nourishing, natural food.
  • Avoid Crowd and Loud: Take a break from noisy, crowded environments. They only clutter and cloud your mind.
  • Release Dramas: Try letting go of all the opinions, judgments, and dramas that swirl around in your mind. They don’t change much of anything, but they do stress you out.
  • Find Stillness and Silence: Teach yourself to “just be.” Sit for five minutes every day and follow your breath. Notice how it makes you feel.
  • Affirm Yourself: Tell yourself you are calm and relaxed again and again. Believe in your capacity to take charge of your emotional life, feed your mind nourishing thoughts, and heal.


 Food for Thought: 6 steps


Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Spirit

November 17, 2014



Yes....feeling Festive. Getting every drip of the Christmas traditions in our home before we have our Cruiser Christmas next year!!!!


1st Ornaments.....their very own picture balls.   Memories.....


   

I know it's before Thanksgiving.....but we have friends who put Christmas decorations up by midnight on Halloween!   So we are coming to the party tardy!


           


I have Adele station playing on Pandora and just FEELING in the moment.
I think we need to host a Dessert and Drinks night soon!




Sunday, November 16, 2014

One Year from Now...

November 16, 2014

Today we went to Sandy Point Beach in town and walked down this path to the beach on this chilly day.  
We strolled, picked up rocks and sea glass and brought to the boys attention that one year from now we will all be together on Nemetona in the British Virgin Islands strolling a beach in much warmer weather and crystal clear waters.   

It was a great day of reflection and anticipation of things to come.  Taking this moment NOT to think about all that needs to get done and just share in each others company is...priceless.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Thoughts and inspiration from Mark Twain

November 14, 2014

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do,

than by the ones you DID do. 

So throw off the bowlines. 

Sail away from the safe harbor. 

Catch the trade winds in your sails. 

Explore. 

Dream. 

Discover.

-Mark Twain






You may be disappointed in less than 20 years, so....
 what are you going to do TODAY?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top 20 cruising realities no-one talks about! by Jackie Parry

A fun article David found on Sail-World.com by Jackie Perry

Here it begins.....

I didn’t talk to my husband for two days when his peculiar answers to my na├»ve nautical questions reached my bewildered ears. Back then, as a mere fledgling to sailing, my raw researching met brutal honesty. Seeking a sailboat and home, to travel the planet, I tried to grasp the financials and what, exactly, was I letting myself in for. .....

To read the rest click the caption below...
Sail-world article
Sail world article




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moments

November 11, 2014

Moments

Got a call while filming a commercial on the 28th of October from the Collision Center the van was brought to after our car accident.  Hoping it was the results from the appraiser, so we know what direction to move in...I checked voice mail.  Apparently the appraiser cannot do his duty without the keys.

So after our shoot was "A Wrap"...I drove from Braintree to Newport to hand over the keys.  First I went to the van and grabbed the 3 bags of clothes and 4 pairs of shoes we were going to drop off at the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of RI, among other items strewn across the Mom mobile.

One item I found in a tiny space was a small shell I picked up in New Zealand two years ago Christmas from the beach in Tuaranga.  It was not in an obvious spot.  When I leaned over from the passenger seat to peer into the little opening near the steering wheel, I saw it and I felt a warmth in my chest and a smile slowly turning up the corner of my lips.


This little snail shell represents an amazing time in my life When connecting with the universe, connecting with others in a deeper way and self exploration was at it's height.  I was exploring being a student of my life and not taking on the angst or emotions of others - which allowed me to explore and be at peace with who I was at that time.

While vacationing with David's family and taking daily strolls on that beach - I found these tiny shells to be prolific along the shoreline.  I picked up as many as I could - I was like a hoarder of shells. Pockets filled and I would come back to the apartment and clean them for I wanted to bring them home.

Not to add clutter to our home in the states, but to remind me of the most peaceful moments that were evoked in those sandy meditative strolls.    I wasn't collecting shells I was collecting Moments.
And it was those moments I wanted to bring home.  Each shell representing a moment.

A moment of simplicity.  A moment of peace.  A moment of reflection.  A moment of sea spray.  A moment of feeling the earth below my feet.  A moment alone.  A moment with family.  A moment to celebrate me.  A moment to share.  A moment to see the excellence within.  A moment to dream.  A moment to realize.   A moment to meditate.  A moment to realize potential.  A moment to be present. A moment.......

As I walked that beach - the peace I felt and the connection I felt with nature - was paramount.  And these shells represented each thought, each moment I pondered as I strolled with the sea mist on my face.   You can add your own moment to that list...it just takes a moment of turning your attention inward.  Thinking simply.

I look forward to the these moments during our year on the boat.




I cleaned and brought home a bunch of them - and handed them out to an amazing group of women who took a chance and ventured on a journey of Extreme Self Care with me.  This gift from nature from a far away land was a reminder to them and to you - that we always have an opportunity to reflect on our own individual MOMENTS!  

What are your moments?




Saturday, November 8, 2014

Total Loss

November 8, 2014

Total Loss to some may seem like a negative outcome.   Total meaning complete and Loss is something you will never regain.

In the light of the sky and the beauty of earth, 'Total Loss'  does not mean that at all for me.
It brings a happy heart to say we have recently been told that we have a total loss.

Let me begin....October 25th driving back from our younger son's soccer game we got into a car accident.  (We are all fine!  Even with the air bags deployed, thank god we were all wearing seat belts!)


This even may seem unfortunate to most people and at least a major inconvenience.  As it turns out it has been a blessing in disguise.

We just decided two days prior that we would Sell the minivan prior to departing on our sailing journey.    We did not want to pay the loan, car insurance and taxes on it while we were away not using the vehicle.  So the plan was to sell the car and pay off the loan next September.  Just keeping Dave's Toyota Tundra (which is paid off) to do the grunt work this next year and when we return. (Paying for insurance and taxes for one car is plenty!!)

I am talking hours after the crash, I felt a real calm through my soul with this realization.  Affirmed that this accident was a blessing.  It opened my eyes up to another option:
1.  Car gets repaired.  We sell it. Pay the Loan off.  Buy cheap used car to drive until we depart.
2.  Car gets totaled.  Get check.  Pay the Loan off.  Buy cheap used car to drive until we depart.

This accident led us to a decision we never even considered!  Sell the Car NOW, pay off the loan and live the year prior to departure Car Loan free!  Thousands saved.

As it turned out - this past week we got the official call from our insurance agent that the 2011 Toyota Sienna has been a TOTAL LOSS.
This is how it looked after the assessor evaluated it.  
A TOTAL LOSS.......TOTAL LOSS.

Great, Implement the NEW PLAN.  Pay off the loan, buy a used car to get us through the year.
And BONUS, now we can even keep it while we are cruising, so we do not have to spend the first few weeks when we return looking for a car while unpacking the boat, moving back into the house, getting ready for school.....etc....etc...)

So here we are - the NEW PLAN in effect.  Below is a picture of our wonderful 'new' to us, used car to carry us through this next year and when we return.

2005 VW Passat Wagon
This car reminds me of my first car out of college I paid cash for - a Dodge Colt hatchback, stick shift, Silver.   This car hugs me the way that one did.  (Plus it has Heated seats and a moonroof!  Bonus.)

I (we) could not be happier - the answer to the car question was answered early.
Thank you Universe for providing!!









Thursday, November 6, 2014

Family


Looking forward to many nights like this one next year and into 2016!!!!

Love our family with all my heart!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Old Man Winter

November 2nd, 2014

WOW..Brrrrrrrrr.
Old Man Winter Blew in hard today.   37 degrees F, rain with Snow and we actually had accumulation...(we saw the roof tops as we drove David to the airport on his way to Orlando!!)

Thank goodness we already took the Dodger and Bimini off the boat AND the outboard and dinghy.

Trying to plan ahead, and think about order.  Some type of order.  As we removed cushions, sheets, towels from the boat....we then cleaned and boxed most items and are storing them in order.  (Well trying)!

My mind is a rage of thoughts and it is hard to turn the cognitive machine off at night.  Scraps of ideas written down so I do not forget simple ideas to help ease the transition.  Especially the transition from house to boat a few months prior to departure (with two young boys aboard!)

I need to get as much order in my mind now - Before the 2-3 months of living aboard prior to doing the passage southward.  Think about it - things will be needed, moved and eaten that I will have to replace, repack and put on checklists so that we do not forget anything for the longer trip (when a Food Store is not easy access.)

But, Maybe it will be easy??  Practice makes perfect.  I will get 2 months worth of homeschooling practice before we depart US waters......that's a good thing!  Right.   I can practice putting food supplies in Tupperware without bringing any cardboard onto the boat.....and I will have washer and dryers available.

OK OK I am talking myself off the cliff............see what fatigue brings.  Glad I have a rational mind if I talk things through.  Thanks for listening!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

DON'T LIVE SOMEBODY ELSE'S DREAM....by Elizabeth Gilbert



Below are some Words from the wise....from Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray , Love
Her sentiment I agree with fantastically.  Although some decisions to stay central to who I am are more difficult than others.....she certainly sums it up below.   


Thought of the Day: 
DON'T LIVE SOMEBODY ELSE'S DREAM.

Dear Ones -
I found this picture today that my husband took of me in 2011, doing research for THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS. This photo captures exactly what I did for three straight years. I sat in a chair, reading books about botany, evolution, abolition, women's history, missionaries, Dutch 18th century commerce, and more...in order to fill my brains (and index cards) with enough information to write that novel.
There is no situation in which I could possibly be happier than this — submerged in the vocation that I love, vanishing for hours a day into my work.
Un-showered, greasy hair, eyes tired, totally falling down the rabbit hole of research...this is me, living my dream.
I was thinking today about all the other paths that I did not take in life, no matter how shiny and appealing they may have looked. I've had the possibility of living so many different kinds of life that could have been a dream for somebody else. I never choose those lives. I've never lived the dreams that other people wanted for themselves — nor have I lived the dreams that other people may have wanted for me.
I never had children...because that's somebody else's dream.
I never took the opportunities that were offered to me after the success of EAT PRAY LOVE to have a TV show of my own...because that's somebody else's dream.
I never took a good steady job teaching writing at a nice college...because that's somebody else's dream.
I didn't remain in Bali or Rome, gorgeous as those places are...because that's somebody else's dream.
I turn down 99% of the invitations I get to attend to fancy parties and stellar gatherings...because that's somebody else's dream.
I sold my big beautiful house with its fabulous gardens and lovely library...because one day I looked around at that gorgeous home and realized: "This is somebody else's dream." (Happily, I sold the house to the family whose dream it actually was. So we all win.)
I never hired a team of personal assistants and staff and consultants to help me "grow my brand"...because that's somebody else's dream.
I know what makes me come to life — working on my books — and this picture tells the whole story. Knowing what makes me come to life has helped me to distinguish between my dreams and the dreams of others.
WHAT MAKES YOU COME TO LIFE?
Ask yourself this question, whenever you are given any choice or opportunity. Ask: "Will saying YES to this path bring me closer to the source that brings me to life? Or will it take me further away?"
No matter how alluring, no matter how beautiful, no matter how sparkling and fancy and delicious — do not say YES to other people's dreams.
Do your own thing. Live in your own waking dream. Stubbornly.
Even if it means not washing your hair for a week. (ESPECIALLY if it means that!)
ONWARD,
LG